Sanchez Wedding Dresses

It’s been a wonderful 8 months of consultation and designing for an amazing project involving a set of custom dresses for a Miss Monica Sanchez.

Monica first came to me while her and her fiance were making their wedding plans.  She had already found a venue for both ceremony and reception, photographer, flowers and even a limousine service for her big day.  The last major thing she was missing was the dress.  Actually, she wasn’t just missing one dress—she was missing three, since she knew many years ago that she wanted to have three dresses on her wedding day.  One would be for the ceremony, another for the first part of the reception, and a third more versatile dress for the first dance.

The reason she had put it off until last?  She wanted the dresses to be just perfect but hadn’t found her perfect designer yet.  Monica had approached 2 other designers previous to coming to me.  “Third one’s the charm”, she said.  “What an intimidating role to live up to…” I thought when she first told me.

However, we got to talking a bit, she gave me a quick description of what she envisioned for each dress and we hit it off.  We spoke on a similar level and I felt I could envision her dresses clearly in my mind as she described them.  I was confident that I could exceed her expectations.  Only time could tell, but the good feelings she got from our first consultation session was enough for her to put her faith in me—her instincts told her that I was the one.  We exchanged information, I got her measurements and we would continue to have exchanges over the phone and email.

The Wedding Dress

wedding-dressHer wedding dress was the dress that would make the first impression and was the most important to nail perfectly.  It was the dress that we focused on first.

For her wedding dress, she wanted something that was fairly traditional in that it was long and white, but with some contemporary touches.

She wanted to fore-go the long train and veil.  In short, she wanted something comfortable, borderline casual, yet quaintly endearing and beautiful.

That is exactly what she got.

Once the first iteration was ready, I called her in to try it on for the first time.  The moment she put it on, tears came to her eyes—fortunately these were good tears.  She said it was amazing how the dress looked just like how she had pictured in her mind for so many years.

It was an incredible start, but it wasn’t perfect yet.  There were a few adjustments that had to be made.

By the time she came in the next time, the dress was perfect.  We were both generously pleased with the progress and excited to tackle the next two dresses.

The Reception Dress

reception-dressFor the reception dress, Monica wanted to go with something that was formal and sexy, with a slight vintage feel.

We went with an elegant light grey material with a sexy cut.  The diagonal piece and trim added that vintage touch to the dress.

It took a few weeks to get it right but when she came to try the dress on, Monica was simply floored.

At this point she was loving me.  “This experience has more than surpassed my expectations and these dresses are like a dream that has become reality…” she told me that day.  Thank you so much, Monica.  It has truly been my absolute pleasure.

She was ecstatic and could not wait to start on the third and final dress to complete your suite of wedding day dresses.

The First Dance Dress

dance-dressThe third and final dress was the one she’d be wearing for her first dance as a married couple.  Monica and her husband had been practicing for months.

It was a livelier dance and the dress needed to keep up with her every move.

By the third dress I had a good handle on her sense of taste.  She was looking for something similar to the reception dress (slightly vintage, formal and sexy), except a little more casual and a little simpler.

We looked at some cloth samples that I had suggested and we decided to go with a dark floral pattern—she loved it.

After our time together, we got along so well that she insisted I be there to attend her wedding.  It was an absolutely beautiful wedding and I was delighted to see her glimmer in all three dresses.  The dance was fantastic, by the way.

A quick thank you to the Vancouver limousine service that took care of Monica and her bridal party that day—they took such great care transporting the dresses.  It’s a seemingly small thing, but most limo companies I’ve dealt with in the past did not show nearly as much care as the company Monica hired.  Kudos to them.

Tips to avoid traffic in Vancouver BC

Over the past two decades, the density of population in Vancouver has increased exponentially with the wave of immigrants settling down in Metro Vancouver, BC.  With an increase of people comes an increase in traffic on the roads.

In this article we’ll explore a few strategies on navigating through Metro Vancouver efficiently, avoiding as much traffic as possible.  Finding the best route through the city could be the difference between your trip taking 20 minutes versus a full hour.

Be in the know before you go

Before you head out onto the street,  it’s a good idea to check what the traffic situation is like in the city.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  First, you could check the two local traffic stations that monitor Metro Vancouver.  “All Traffic All The Time” is AM730’s slogan.  This is probably your best source of traffic news on the radio, since traffic is all they do.   The next radio station is AM1130, which gives the traffic every 10 minutes on the ones.
Aside from radio stations you can also get a number of smartphone apps that provide traffic information.   Just do a quick search in your smartphone’s App Store to find any appropriate apps.  If your phone plan does not include data,  you may need to find some Wi-Fi to get updated information from the app.   the benefit to using an app is that you’ll often be able to see where all the traffic jams are on a map.   Google Maps is another great app that will not only show you the traffic,  but can also act as a GPS and help you navigate to your destination.

High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes

One of the biggest time-savers on the road are  high-occupancy vehicle Lanes, or HOV lanes.   It’s not always convenient to carpool, but sometimes I can save you a ton of time, letting you skip by large traffic jams.   Don’t have anyone to carpool with?   You might not be entirely out of luck.   Not many people know that electric vehicles may be eligible to drive in HOV lanes, even if there’s just one person inside.  It’s as simple as applying for it.   If you are eligible for it, you will receive unofficial decal that you place on your windshield.  Some of the HOV lanes that will save you the most amount of time, are on
Highway 99 going northbound towards the George Massey Tunnel,
going Southbound on Highway 99 between Westminster Highway and the George Massey Tunnel,
Heading to North Vancouver on Highway 1 (trans Canada Highway)

Avoid driving during rush hour

Some of us have more flexible schedules than others.   For those that have a little more choice in the times that we head out onto the roads,  choosing to go out when the roads are not busy is a sure-fire way to avoid getting stuck in traffic. This could mean leaving an hour earlier than you normally would, or leaving an hour later when everyone else has arrived at work or at home.  This could also mean changing up your work time entirely.   If you work a morning shift, working a night shift will almost wipe out your chances of getting stuck in traffic completely.

Don’t create traffic

Prevention is a great tool.   Keeping your car maintained and in good working condition will ensure that you don’t find yourself on the side of the road requiring roadside assistance.   if something does go wrong with your car,  be sure to pull off of the road as much as possible so that your vehicle does not create a traffic jam.   This will keep traffic going as well as enable the roadside assistance company to get to you efficiently.  City Tow Truck is one of the highest rated towing companies in Vancouver and they are a good company to call, should you ever have a flat tire, run out of gas, need to be towed to your mechanic, or if you see another vehicle that is blocking traffic and needs help.  They can be reached at (604) 670-7100.

Set aside ample travel time

The likelyhood of car accidents goes up significantly with increased driver stress.  Drivers get stressed when time is short and there’s more traffic than expected. Always budget more than enough time and increase your expectations of traffic.  With plenty of time to get to your destination, you’ll be able to drive calmly and reduce your chances of getting into an accident.  You may get to where you’re going sooner.  If so, prepare something to be productive with so that you’re not only minimizing your stress, but you’re not wasting time either.  The same goes for parking.  When you’re stressed you may go with the first parking spot you can find, which may be a lot more expensive than other areas nearby.  Or, you may skip paying for parking entirely just to save yourself 2 minutes. Not paying for parking can result in a parking ticket and/or getting your car towed away, both of which could have been prevented by just setting aside a few extra minutes for travel time.  If you do happen to find that you vehicle has been towed, see this page for information on claiming your vehicle back.

Enjoy the ride

There’s only so much that we can do to avoid traffic jams.   For the times that we do get stuck on the road, you can make the choice to enjoy the time that you are going to be in the car instead of focusing on all the traffic and feeling stressed about it.   You can be productive even while you’re in the car.   Listening to audiobooks is a fantastic option.   Audiobooks are hands-free, enjoyable and educational.  Good luck and be safe on the roads!

Miss Universe Inspiration

I love watching the Miss Universe contests. I don’t watch to see who wins, where the contestants are from, or how they perform. There’s also a lot of drama that happens around the contest. I don’t pay any attention to any of that stuff.
I watch solely because I’m always inspired by the creativity and beauty that is put into their dresses. Which event is my favorite? If you know me by now, the answer is really obvious. You guessed it… I love the Evening Gown section of the contest.

Have a look at this gallery of Miss Universe 2013 evening gowns.

Or just do a google search for “Miss Universe Evening Gown“.

It’s actually a little secret of mine. When I’m designing a dress and get stuck in a bit of a rut, the Miss Universe Evening Gowns are a source of inspiration for me every now and then. Of course my style tends to be a little more understated and more for practical use (not for competing in national contests), but I do find it helpful to gather some ideas that I can add my own twist and style to.

Wedding Dress Flash Mob

I saw this video the other day and I loved it.

How could I not love this video?  It’s got dancing (which I love) and a ton of wedding dresses (which I also really love).

It’s a little old (from Feb 2012).  I wish I was there to jump around in one of my dresses.  I wonder how people would even find out about these things and join them?

I totally wish I could participate in something like this in the near future.  If you’re reading this and you know how to join a flash mob, please tell me about it—I’m serious.

You usually hear about this sort of thing happening in the states, but rarely in a place like Vancouver.

What a great large group photo near the end as well.

I hope one of those dancers was actually getting married that day.  What a magnificent thing to have done on a wedding day. =)

Well, it’s time for me to splurge a bunch of time on YouTube, looking for some local flash mobs that I can join.  Wish my luck!

Maybe I’ll be popping up and surprising one of you sometime soon.